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Rochester and also further upstream at Mount Morris and in that general vicinity. During the past 103 years flooding has occurred in some portions of the basin 100 times.
Property in the basin has an estimated value of $694,000,000. The maximum known flood at Rochester was in 1865 and caused damages estimated at $1,000,000. The average annual flood loss in the basin is estimated at $388,000, of which $268,000 is a direct loss due to physical damage, and $120,000 indirect loss, which includes loss of business and wages, hours lost, relief and transportation interruptions.
The industry in the basin consists of canning companies, general agriculture and grazing, with the upper portion of the basin devoted to the major farming elements, with indusiries generally scattered in the lower portion.
The recommended plan of improvements consists of an earth-filled dam at the Mount Morris site, forming a reservoir of 170,000 acrefeet of storage, of which 166,000 would be reserved for flood control, with a provision for increasing the storage capacity of the reservoir if found desirable when construction is undertaken, at a cost to the Federal Government of $5,360,000, with $26,800 annually for maintenance and operation. As it is purely a reservoir project no local cooperation in this plan is required.
The Federal Power Commission has carefully examined the report on this project and is of the opinion that the Mount Morris project or an alternate project should be constructed as a component part of the comprehensive development of the Genesee River Basin. It further advocates an alternate development, a multiple-purpose development, at Portageville, which is at the upstream end of
the canyon, which can be considered when the time is appropriate. The Chief of Engineers recommends, for the initial step, the described project at the Mount Morris site.
Senator OVERTON. And has recommended that the Mount Morris site be used exclusively for flood control?
Colonel GOETHALS. Entirely for flood control, yes, sir. The ratio of cost to benefit is 1 to 1.12.
Senator BURTON. What effect will that have on that park in there, backing that water in there!
Colonel GOETHALS. The highest reservoir pool-if you are familiar with the park
Senator BURTON. Yes; I have been there
Colonel GOETHALS. Does not intrude on the base of the lower falls, so that the three waterfalls will be preserved in all their native condition,
Senator OVERTON. I think we will have to stop with this project. We will recess now until 2:30 this afternoon.
(Thereupon, at 12:30 p. m., a recess was taken until 2:30 p. m. of the same day.)
AFTERNOON SESSION (The subcommittee resumed at 2:30 p. m. on the expiration of the recess.)
Senator OVERTON. The subcommittee will come to order. Colonel Goethals, I believe we had completed the testimony on the Genesee River, N. Y. Is that correct?
STATEMENT OF COL. GEORGE R. GOETHALS, CHIEF, CIVIL WORKS
DIVISION, OFFICE OF CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, UNITED STATES ARMY, WASHINGTON, D. C.—Resumed
Colonel GOETHALS. I understand so, unless there are further questions.
Senator OVERTON. There seem to be no questions, so we will proceed to the next project, which I believe is the Winooski River, Vt.
Colonel GOETHALS. Yes, sir.
WINOOSKI RIVER, VT.
Colonel GOETHALS. This report on the Winooski River Basin, in Vermont, has reached Congress but the Public Printer has not yet assigned a document number. It is prepared under authority of the Flood Control Committee resolution of June 20, 1940, and the scope of this interim report which is now being described is confined to a study of the safety of the existing flood-control dams at Waterbury, Wrightsville, and East Barre, Vt.
This river rises in the northeastern part of Vermont and flows generally westerly for a distance of about 90 miles to Lake Champlain, which it enters about 4 miles north of the city of Burlington.
Senator OVERTON. Does the Winooski River flow through any other States than Vermont?
Colonel GOETHALS. No, sir. It is entirely a Vermont stream.
a basin area of approximately 1,080 square miles. The river is formed by a confluence of various tributaries entering both from the north and the south, where the run-off is very steep
and precipitous. Below Montpelier the river valley becomes flat and well cleared, and is from 1,000 to 4,000 feet wide except at several narrow gorges, the most noteworthy being at Winooski, Bolton, and Middlesex.
The total basin population is 85,000. The principal occupation is agricultural, the raising of cattle fodder, and dairying, with such industries as quarrying, woodworking, and woolen manufacture.
The existing project for flood control in this river provides for the construction of local works for the protection of Waterbury, Vt. Under the provision of the act of August 1941, work was to be done on the channel above Bolton Gorge at an estimated first cost to the United States of $880,000. But as this project has not been determined essential to the war effort, no work has yet been undertaken.
Senator OVERTON. But that project has already been authorized, has it?
Colonel GOETHALS. Yes, sir; local protection works, entirely. These existing dams were authorized as an emergency relief project in June 1933, and were built under the general supervision of the Chief of Engineers with funds furnished by the Director of Emergency Conservation Work, using Emergency Conservation and Emergency Relief funds, by the Civilian Conservation Corps, at a total construction cost of approximately $13,300,000.
Senator OVERTON. You say these reservoirs are at Waterbury, Wrightsville, and East Barre?
Colonel GOETHALS. Yes, sir; shown in large letters on that map. They were built under these auspices out of funds stated, in the light of flood-control data available in 1933 and prior thereto. Floods that have occurred since that time, and notably the run-off characteristics prepared as a result of observing the 1938 floods, have shown the necessity of raising these dams to take care of floods that might be expected to occur in the future, based on data which was not available at the time of the design.
This results in the following recommended improvements: At the Wrightsville Dam to increase the height 20 feet, which thereby increases the length about 200 feet. Replace the exisiting spillway by one of larger section, and with a crest 2 feet higher, and miscellaneous similar items of work in the spillway channel.
At the East Barre Dam, to raise the height 10 feet, thereby increasing its length about 350 feet, with minor modifications also in the spillway and the down channel therefrom.
At the Waterbury Dam, to increase the height 3 feet and install an extra spillway gate; also make minor improvements to the embankment and the channel below the spillway.
The total estimated cost of these improvements is $2,137,000, of which the investment of the Federal Government is $2,120,000, and of local interests is $17,000.
Senator OVERTON. It that a cash contribution by the local interests, or will you explain that item? What is the local contribution?
Colonel GOETHALS. It is $17,000 for the additional lands. This is unusual, I should state, but in view of the fact that the State of Vermont now maintains and operates this dam, and in view of the fact that the original project was accomplished under an agreement whereby the State acquired all lands, easements, and rights-of-way necessary for the construction, and since the actual spillway capacities of the existing dams are inadequate, and the proposed work involves principally additional safety, it is considered that the present set-up of State maintenance and operation should be retained, as well as to ask the State to furnish the additional lands, for which the estimated sum of $17,000 is intended to cover.
Senator OVERTON. I take it that is a departure from the general plan, is it not?
Colonel GOETHALS. That is a departure based on the method and ways the funds under which the dams were originally constructed. were provided.
Senator OVERTON. As I understand it, they were first constructed out of emergency funds?
Colonel GOETHALS. Emergency relief funds under the 1933 provisions for their application.
Senator OVERTON. Was that when the understanding was had with the State of Vermont that it should furnish all lands necessary?
Colonel GOETHALS. At that time; yes, sir.
Senator OVERTON. And that it should retain control of and operation of the dams!
Colonel GOETHALS. Yes, sir.
Senator OVERTON. Are the dams used for anything other than flood control?
Colonel GOETHALS. Primarily for flood control. The Waterbury Reservoir is also used for storage for power.
Senator OVERTON. Why did the State of Vermont want to control flood-control dams through State agencies rather than through the Chief of Engineers ?
Colonel GOETHALS. I think it was set up that way, Mr. Chairman, because at the time the arrangements were made it was very early in the history of the flood-control policy, and it has simply been left that way, and has not been changed.
Senator OVERTON. What year was it?
Colonel GOETHALS. It was 1933 when this plan originally was worked out.
Senator CORDON. Is there any objection on the part of the State of Vermont to maintaining the status quo?
Colonel GOETHALS. No, sir; they have been doing it.
Senator CORDON. And this leaves the status quo just where it has been ?
Colonel GOETHALS. This leaves it where they have it now, and as I understand the situation, where they want it.
Senator OVERTON. And the additional area required will cost only $17,000?
Colonel GOETHALS. Yes, sir; that would be the local contribution.
Colonel GOETHALS. That has not been worked out here because these are merely extensions, or necessary improvements that have not been evaluated in the customary fashion because the original justifications, when the dams were first designed, showed their necessity, and this merely continues that.
Senator OVERTON. All right, Colonel Goethals, you may proceed to the next subject, which is:
CHESTNUT CREEK, VA.
Colonel GOETHALS. This report is now House Document 506, Seventy-eighth Congress, second session, prepared in accordance with Flood Control Committee resolution of November 19, 1940.
This creek is formed by the confluence of its east and west forks in Grayson County, Va. It flows in a northeasterly direction about 23 miles to its confluence with the New River. New River then unites farther down with the Gauley to form the Kanawha, which in turn flows 97 miles to its junction with the Ohio River at Point Pleasant, 266 river miles below Pittsburgh,
The population of this basin in 1940 was 6,750. In this basin manufacturing, dairying, farming, and stock raising are the chief occupations. The products of agriculture consist generally of potatoes, wheat, and rye. There is no existing project for flood control in this basin.
Floods have occurred frequently, on an average of once a year. Extreme floods are caused by the hurricane type of storms, while the frequent river floods occur as a result of tropical rains. Ten destruc
tive floods have occurred since 1878, the greatest on record occurring in August 1940, causing damage in the basin of $226,600, of which $209,000 occurred at Galax, Va. In that immediate vicinity approximately 600 acres are subject to overflow.
The plan of improvement recommended consists of the construction of a leveed channel through the town to provide a discharge capacity of 15,000 cubic feet per second.
Senator OVERTON. Through what town?
Colonel GOETHALS. The town of Galax, Va. The map now on display is the detailed one showing improvements through the town in question.
Senator OVERTON. All right. You may proceed.
Colonel GOETHALS. The leveed channel will carry a flood believed to be the greatest flood of reasonable expectancy; provision is to be made to increase the height of the levees by 3 feet if such appears to be necessary at the time of construction.
The recommended improvement provides for the reconstruction of the railroad bridge, for highway and highway bridge changes, and for alterations in the existing drainage facilities. The total length of the project is 11,100 feet.
The estimated cost is $360,000, of which $276,125 is Federal money, and $83,875 local funds, developing a favorable ratio of cost to benefits of 1 to 1.01. Conditions of local cooperation are standard except in addition thereto the local interests are required to make all necessary changes in highways, highway bridges, and drainage facilities.
Senator BURTON. Is there any navigation of that stream at that point?
Colonel GOETHALS. No, sir.
Colonel GOETHALS. The average annual damage at Galax is estimated at $13,400.
Senator BURTON. Then you do not feel that you need any navigability at all for a flood-control proposition? Colonel GOETHALS. No navigation requirements are evident. Senator BURTON. How deep is that creek!
Colonel GOETHALS. I have not that data. I might say that it is an unimportant stream, is very shallow, and that there is nothing to justify a navigation development in that section.
Senator BURTON. Then it is almost one of these little streams that holds out a flood danger in time of storm!
Colonel GOETHALS. Yes, sir. It always has some flow. That is, it never entirely dries up as occurs sometimes in streams in the West, but it is subject in flood times to spreading out and covering the adjoining lands.
Senator BURTON. Mr. Chairman, do you understand that we do not need any navigability in order to get jurisdiction for food control?
Senator OVERTON. As I understand it, the authority of the Federal Government stems from the interstate commerce clause and, of course, the Constitution gives Congress control over navigable waters as an incident to its power to regulate interstate commerce. Decisions of the United States Supreme Court have, from time to time, construed the power of the Congress over waterways. It is my understanding that any waterway that can reasonably be improved so as to make